San Francisco (30-40) at Milwaukee (40-31)

Cloudy Currently: Milwaukee, WI
Temp: 66° F
  • Game info: 2:05 pm EDT Wed Jun 20, 2007
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Barry Bonds may be chasing the all-time home run record, but it’s been Milwaukee’s Prince Fielder who has provided most of the offense during the Brewers’ series with the San Francisco Giants.

Fielder and the NL Central-leading Brewers close out a three-game series against the Giants on Wednesday afternoon looking for a sweep.

Fielder drove in three runs on Tuesday, and Ben Sheets pitched a complete game in a 6-2 win, Milwaukee’s sixth in its last seven games.

“I kept trying to explain to people that we don’t get excited when we’re really doing well and we don’t get excited when we’re not doing well,” Brewers manager Ned Yost said. “There’s a lot of ups and downs.”

Fielder drew a bases-loaded walk in the first and added a two-run double in the second. The first baseman also hit his NL-leading 26th homer in Monday’s 5-4 victory.

He is hitting .320 at Miller Park this season, and his .727 slugging percentage at home leads the majors.

Bonds, meanwhile, went 0-for-3 on Tuesday with one strikeout. The slugger, who isn’t expected to play in this game, remains at 748 career homers—seven shy of Hank Aaron’s record. Bonds has just three homers in 95 at-bats since May 8.

San Francisco has lost six straight, nine of 11 and 18 of 24.

“It’s been a while since we won a game,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “There’s no one out there happy with what’s happening. Nobody has to tell us we have to get our act together. They’re trying.”

The Giants (30-40) look to turn things around behind Barry Zito (6-7, 4.41 ERA).

Zito allowed seven runs and five hits in 5 1-3 innings of a 10-2 loss to the Boston Red Sox on Friday. He struck out five, but walked four and hit a batter in taking his second straight loss.

“I thought I had decent command most of the night,” Zito told the Giants’ official Web site. “A lot of balls were where we wanted them to go; we just weren’t getting the calls.”

Zito has an 8.68 ERA in his last two starts after allowing just one earned run over 20 innings in his previous three. San Francisco will need a lengthy outing from the veteran after Tuesday’s starter, Tim Lincecum, lasted just four innings. The Giants only received 5 2-3 innings from Noah Lowry in Monday’s opener.

Zito made one start against the Brewers while with the Oakland Athletics. He allowed one run and two hits in eight innings of an 11-2 win in 2002.

The Brewers will counter with Claudio Vargas (5-1, 3.86). Vargas allowed three runs and five hits in six innings on Friday against the Minnesota Twins in an 11-3 win.

Vargas is 3-2 with a 5.51 ERA in eight starts and three relief appearances against the Giants.

J.J. Hardy is expected to return to the Brewers lineup after he sat out Tuesday’s game with a sore hip. The team said the shortstop, who is batting .282 with 17 homers and 49 RBIs, was bothered by the injury Monday.

Milwaukee is looking for its first sweep since taking three games against the Washington Nationals from May 7-9.

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Starting Pitchers

B. Zito SF vs. C. Vargas Col
11-13 Record 11-6
4.53 ERA 5.09
131 K 107
83 BB 54
1.35 WHIP 1.54


Wednesday, Jun 20